Writing Poetry Creates Smarter Kids

I always taught a writing poetry unit in my high school English classes, but not every student turned in her work.To help prevent one of them from possibly failing the class, I called her mom to explain her predicament.

Finally her mother asked, "Well, where is she supposed to get these poems?" I responded, "From her brain and her heart. She's supposed to create them from within herself." 

Poetry is a fun activity that utilizes a child's higher thinking skills, as all writing activities do. Also, it's easier if they start writing poetry in elementary grades, so be sure to have your little ones write some of these simple, easy poems. 

 Every child has the soul of a poet.

                                                                                                                                  Miss Anderson

As a homeschooling parent, your child should be given opportunities to express her thoughts and ideas through many avenues, which includes creating poetry.

She can write the poems using free style, non-rhyming techniques, improvising on the techniques of other poets, or experimenting with one of the styles given here.

In addition, they can be illustrated and bound together using something as simple as yarn.

Writing Poetry -The Diamond Poem

 Writing poetry in the shape of a diamond is easy.

Begin the one by thinking of two words (nouns) that are the opposite of each other. The first line will be one of these nouns.  The seventh line will be the other one.

The second line is two adjectives about the noun.

The third line is three –ing verbs associated with the noun.

The fourth line is four nouns and where the poem begins to change. The first two nouns are words that are associated with the noun in the first line. The last two nouns are words that will be associated with the noun of the seventh line.

The fifth line is three –ing verbs about the noun on the seventh line.

The sixth line has two adjectives that describe the noun on the seventh line.

The seventh line of the poem is the opposite noun from the first line.

Here is one that I wrote:

Summer

Hot, Breezy

Swimming, Traveling, Reading

Rainstorms, Swimsuits, Jackets, Snowstorms

Skiing, Sledding, Skating

Cold, Dreary

Winter

See how it looks like a diamond?


The Shape or Concrete Poem

Writing poetry like Shape or Concrete poems  means using words that have been arranged in such a way that they make the shape of an object and they describe the object. List action and feeling words also.

Next, place a piece of paper over the shape and decide where your words are going to be placed so that they outline your shape but also fit well together.

When your child begins writing the poem, be sure she separates words and phrases with commas.

The Acrostic

An acrostic can be a very simple poem to create. In its most basic form, your child can write her own name vertically  and describe herself with words that begin with each letter of her name. For example, 

AMY

Always cheerful

Makes Mom smile

Youthful

An acrostic can be used to summarize a history lesson by describing the event or a famous character like the American Revolution, the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson, Pilgrims, or the Swamp Fox. 

In writing across the curriculum in science, your child could write an acrostic about photosynthesis or hydrogen or even a famous scientist like Louis Pasteur or Jonas Salk.

The Cinquain

A cinquain is a five-line poem.

The first line is one noun.

The second line has two adjectives that describe the noun.

The third line consists of three verbs  that describe the noun.

The fourth line is a four-word phrase about the noun.

The fifth line is a one-word synonym of the noun in line 1.

Here is a cinquain.

Beaches

Sandy, pebbly

Burns, soothes, restores

Gets into your swimsuit

Adventures

The Poetry Challenge

Here's a terrific project for all your children. Write one type of these poems for a month. You'll find by the end of the 30 days, your child's fluidity has improved, as well as her knowledge of the parts of speech. 

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